March 12 to April 24
Stewart Hall Art Gallery
David Blatherwick is a Canadian artist and educator who studied design at Ryerson University and has an M.F.A. from the Université du Québec and a degree from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Blatherwick’s work as a painter embodies a relationship to nature; using the perception of colour as his medium, he composes a new kind of synthesis based on the relationship between an accelerated culture and our desire to neutralize its effects and find respite, if only for a moment.
Invented by Canadian meteorologists to explain why people might have difficulty withstanding the summer heat, the humidex (short for humidity index) in Blatherwick’s work refers to the expression on canvas of emotions he felt during his yearly stays in the Dominican Replublic, where cultural and economical intensity combine with atmospheric heat to generate a kind of metaphysical sensory overflow. The fundamental gesture of the brush discharging its color onto the canvas translates the artist’s direct experience of the island’s mysterious and fascinating wildlife. As the poignancy of the work sweeps away the obsolete rift between figurative and abstract art, the visitor’s primal instincts are kindled by a luxuriance that reaffirms the painting’s evocative power.
In the Project Room: MAIZ – Laura Santini
The modern corn plant’s resilience is the product of centuries of artificial selection by humans, and though it will very likely outlive its cultivators, their universal culture and material history through it will endure. At first glance, Santini’s cornstalks seem to share the frail nature of the cereal that ensured the survival of America’s First People; however, closer inspection reveals a traditional “Western-world” bronze structure, making the sculpture an embodiment of contemporary dichotomies (primitive versus modern cultures, organic versus artificial life, opacity versus fluency).
Working in Montreal and Italy, Laura Santini holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from McGill University and a master’s degree in visual arts from NYU. Her work is part of many private and public collections worldwide.
Vernissage: Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m.